Hope Central Church was formed in the spring of 2010 through the merger of two church communities: Central Congregational Church, a church with a history of nearly 150 years in Jamaica Plain, and Hope Church, a vibrant young church started 8 years earlier.
Central Congregational Church was founded in 1853 and built our current church building at 85 Seaverns Ave in 1935.
Hope Church was founded in 2002 by Reverends Elizabeth and Matthew Myer Boulton with a vision to be a welcoming, diverse community of people, who could learn and grow together in faith, love, and joy.
In June 2010, Rev. Laura Ruth Jarrett began her ministry as pastor of Hope Central Church.
The Roots of our Faith
Hope Central Church is a member congregation of both the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), two mainline Protestant Christian denominations.
The UCC and the Disciples have much in common such as Jesus’ prayer “that all may be one” (John 17) which is the founding prayer of both denominations. Both denominations practice freedom of belief, strong member participation, involvement in community needs, and voluntary fellowship along with all other expressions of the Christian faith.
On a national level, the UCC and the Disciples have been ecumenical partners since 1989. This partnership includes ongoing cooperation and dialogue, mutual recognition of clergy, and a shared Global Ministries organization.
The United Church of Christ was founded in 1957 through the merger of four Christian denominations. These groups extend back to the early churches of the United States, including those founded by the Puritans. One of the UCC’s distinguishing characteristics is the belief “God is still speaking,” which put it on the forefront of the movement to welcome and affirm a diversity of peoples.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has congregations mostly concentrated in other regions of the country. Its history extends back to the Restorationist Christianity of the American frontier in the early 19th century. The Disciples seek to be a “a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.” Distinctive practices of the Disciples include weekly celebration of Communion that is open to all, and a strong emphasis on the ministry of all believers.
Hope Central Church’s association with both the UCC and the Disciples brings together the values and strengths of each denomination in an ongoing manifestation of Christian unity through faith, ministry, service, and worship.
On Pentecost Sunday 2011, Hope Central Church adopted its first vision statement, after the merger of two congregations in March 2010, thus unifying Central Congregational and Hope Church’s purpose into One:
Hope Central Church proclaims the good news of God’s unconditional love for all people as embodied in the life and way of Jesus. We are progressive in theology, drawing from the witness and wisdom of other spiritual traditions as we strive to express our faith in ways that are affirming, life-giving, and expansive.
Seeking God, we nurture our lives by practicing spiritual disciplines including eclectic worship, weekly communion, the study of scripture, the building of relationships, generous giving, the work of justice, and the practices of prayer, silence, story, and art.
We aspire to extend a radical welcome to all people, inviting them into loving, accepting community. In deep and spiritual relationship with God and one another, we strive to support each other along life’s journey.
We stand with the oppressed of our world, working as God’s hands in the struggle for justice. With the leading of the Spirit, we seek to live into God’s love, peace, and justice.